On Saturday, a couple of New York Mets beat reporters suggested that the team could view their outfield as sewn up heading into the 2019 season.
At 2:00 p.m., Mike Puma of the New York Post noted that the “Mets aren’t so sure there will be another major-league outfield addition beyond [the newly acquired Keon Broxton] this offseason”, then minutes later (2:02 p.m.) Matt Ehalt of The Record mirrored those remarks in his own tweet.
“One source said the Mets’ outfield depth is now set with the trade of Broxton,” Ehalt wrote. “So it doesn’t seem another outfield move is on the horizon.”
To this writer, and apparently to a large contingent of the fanbase, that just doesn’t make much sense.
Whether this rumor has any serious validity to it is neither here nor there; we’ll soon find out either way. What should be taken away from this report is if the Mets want to contend in 2019, as new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has insisted upon, they can’t stop here.
Up until now — as far as the outfield goes — Van Wagenen has assembled a more-than-respectable stable of depth players that should provide the major-league grass-roamers of Flushing with a capable group of “just in case” backups.
Rajai Davis, Gregor Blanco, Braxton Lee, and Rymer Liriano will surely provide an added boost of talent to the thin stock of outfielders currently in the higher levels of the Mets organization (Kevin Kaczmarski is the only other outfielder listed on the Syracuse Mets’ roster after the aforementioned names).
As Mike Mayer of MMO pointed out earlier in the week, with Yoenis Cespedes set to remain on the shelf for a still-undetermined stretch of the season (if he returns in 2019, at all), Van Wagenen and the Mets can’t confidently head into the 2019 season with aspirations of reaching the postseason without bringing in another solid, starting outfielder.
Whomever the organization decides to tab as the final piece of this team’s outfield next season — whether it be Bryce Harper, Nick Markakis, A.J. Pollock, Avisail Garcia, or even, gulp, Adam Jones — there must be another addition.
Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Keon Broxton are a fine combination of talented young players, but if Van Wagenen wants to usurp the talent-heavy Braves and stay ahead of the “stupid money” spending Phillies in the sure-to-be-exciting National League East this year, his work simply isn’t done yet.
Do your thing, Brodie.